Natural Products Expo is the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event, held each spring in Anaheim California. Over 3,000 companies are present to connect with some 80,000 attendees. The ‘natural products’ industry includes all manner of packaged foods, functional foods and consumer goods.
The convention serves as a launching point for 500+ young companies, bringing their innovation and new brands to market. These concepts range from free range pork rinds to seaweed hummus and sunscreen from coconut oil, and much else.
As someone who works at the intersection of branding and entrepreneurship, the Expo is a fantastic look at creative problem solving from across the country. Here are five companies I noticed which stood out from the crowd through having strong concepts behind their branding.
Strategy & Brand Design
New Barn Almond Milk
Simple, appealing, familiar yet new. The words ‘new’ and ‘barn’ are counterintuitive, playing on the phrase ‘old barn’ which is common parlance. From this name I feel a pride and optimism for growth and innovation in food production. It feels like a name of a company, which it is, and not naming for a particular product line. There is a lot of future in this brand concept.
This branding combines familiar concepts in a novel way. A veteran of the outdoor lifestyle category applied his knowledge of production to his passion for ocean preservation. The result is a product line geared towards giving customers fashionable and functional alternatives to disposable bags. Stemming the tide of wasted plastic is key to saving our ocean ecosystems. Love Bags points the way.
In visuals, as in other areas of life, there is a value to what something costs. Here the logo demands size, space and color, and feels substantial as a result. In the expanse of slick and minimal graphics in our days it’s refreshing to not feel rushed to consume this company’s image.
The charm of this brand is not captured in a single image, but requires appreciating that each and every product in their expansive line has unique artwork and special character. There’s clearly a sense of love invested in the products, and by extension the brand. Founders must think about not only the cost of creative assets, but also what toll on the management directing design will require. In the case of Babyganics, I expect that someone on the founding team is a talented and prolific illustrator, giving their company lift in a competitive category.
The graphics system for Solti hits the mark as being immediate, logical and original. Often brands look to make an impact from minimal means, and loose both their distinction and vim as a result. Like sushi, if your ingredients are exceptional, don’t cover over them. The subtle message of this branding is that the product is pure and does not need embellishment.